New year slowing down and gentleness podcasts

New year slowing down and gentleness podcasts

Soooo… The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that I haven’t blogged here for a couple of months. This is because on top of the already tough year that 2019 had been – both personally and politically – the turn of the year involved some even more challenging events for me. These included a deeply impactful bereavement and facing some hard ethical questions about how I navigate various aspects of my work.

All of this confirmed for me that 2020 has to be a year which prioritises slowing down and doing The Work. I remain hugely grateful that I can finally afford to make this my focus, and that I have the support I need around it. I’m learning a great deal, from inner experience and from friends and experts, about cPTSD and other forms of trauma, which helps to make sense of some of the more frightening aspects of what I’m going through. It can feel hard indeed to focus inwardly right now when there seems to be an ever greater need for outward action, but it also feels essential.

I’m learning many things from this process which will – I’m sure – eventually find their way into blog posts, books, zines, etc. But I’m also making a practice of only writing when it feels self-consensual to do so. In fact self-consensual creativity and what we can learn from it is a major theme for me – and for the people I’m mentoring around their writing – which I also want to write about when it feels right to do so. I’m mulling over a book project called ‘Not Writing’!

In the meantime, I did manage to do this podcast with the wonderful Marije Janssen where we discuss the importance of slowing down and self-care.

Listen here

If you like that, Justin and I also had a great chat about gentleness to start the year which you can listen to on our Patreon feed if you want to sign up to that.

Listen here

No doubt we will be podcasting more on this theme on both our free feed and Patreon feed during the course of 2020.

Finally, on a joyful note, Jules Scheele will soon be starting to illustrate our next Graphic Guide on Sexuality and has already made a beautiful cover for it which I will share here soon. I’m particularly excited about the development of ongoing character arcs through this book, the ghost/horror theme which is dear to my heart, and the fact I’ve managed to get some Scooby Doo / Rocky Horror Show crossover slash into the book… That, and the highly relevant trauma-informed self-care workbook which Alex and I have been working on, will be out by the end of the year.

Wishing all readers a belated – and very gentle – happy new year.

Meg-John (MJ) Barker (they/them) is a writer, zine-maker, collaborator, contemplative practitioner, and friend. They are the author of a number of zines and popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality (with Jules Scheele), and How To Understand Your Gender, Sexuality and Relationships (with Alex Iantaffi).


  1. George R O'Neil

    3 February

    Take good care of yourself. I am learning so much stuff from you.